JOHN YANG: In the day’s other news: North Korea rejected a new set of U.N. sanctions over its nuclear and missile programs. The Security Council banned the North’s exports of textiles and capped its imports of crude oil. In response, Pyongyang warned today that, “The United States will suffer the greatest pain in its history.”
At a White House meeting with Malaysia’s prime minister, President Trump played down the vote.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I don’t know if it has any impact, but certainly it was nice to get a 15-0 vote. But those sanctions are nothing compared to what ultimately will have to happen.
JOHN YANG: The Trump administration had pressed for much tougher sanctions, including a total oil embargo, but China wouldn’t go that far.
The government of Bangladesh pressed Myanmar today to end the violence against Rohingya Muslims. Some 370,000 have fled across the border in less than three weeks. Today, the prime minister of Bangladesh visited camps sheltering the refugees. She called for an end to atrocities, and said Myanmar should take them back soon.
In Syria, new claims of victory today by allies of the government. Russia’s military reported 85 percent of Syria’s territory has been cleared of rebels and militants. The leader of the Lebanese group Hezbollah went even further. He declared: “We have won in the war in Syria.”
Bashar al-Assad’s regime was on the brink of losing the war before the Russians intervened two years ago.
Back in this country, the Justice Department has decided not to bring charges in the case of Freddie Gray. His death in police custody sparked riots in Baltimore two years ago. Three police officers were acquitted on state charges last year, and charges against three others were dropped.
U.S. household incomes are finally recovering from the great recession. The Census Bureau reports that last year the median household earned just over $59,000. That’s the best since 2007. In addition, the percentage of Americans without health insurance dipped below 9 percent, the lowest on record.
On Wall Street today the Dow Jones industrial average gained 61 points to close at 22118. The Nasdaq rose 22 points, and the S&P 500 added eight.
And two deaths of note.
Gay rights activist Edith Windsor died today in New York. In 2013, her Supreme Court case led to a landmark against the federal ban on same-sex marriage. that led to the 2015 decision that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. Edith Windsor was 88 years old.
And one of the great early Disney animators has died. Xavier Atencio helped bring to life two Disney classics, “Pinocchio,” the first animated feature to win a competitive Academy Award, and “Fantasia,” which has been preserved in the National Film Registry.
Later, as a Disney Imagineer, Atencio helped design rides for Disneyland and co-wrote the lyrics to the theme song for the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
JOHN YANG: Xavier Atencio was 98 years old.